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What Is the Best Aloe?

aloe vera mother with pups
Aloe You Too!

When it comes to Aloe vera, not all plants are the same. There are several hundred species of Aloe and many varieties within each species.

Barbadensis-miller is well established as the best Aloe species, for both topical and internal consumption. But of the hundreds of varieties of barbadensis-miller, which is the best and how can you tell the difference?

Rodney Stockton, The “Aloe Pioneer“, searched the world, testing many species and varieties of Aloes. Among the many varieties of barbadensis-miller plants, one stood out prominently for it’s “medicinal qualities”. This plant came to be called “barbadensis-miller-stockton” (barbadensis-miller species, stockton variety).

Stockton made further determinations about the factors that contribute to the medicinal properties of Aloe — including the plant maturity, climate, soil, and more — but for the sake of this article, we’ll focus on species and variety.

We often get inquiries from Aloe advocates who want to know how to identify the species and variety of a plant they are growing.

Consider this question from Lucila. She wrote:

Question: How do I know which Aloe species I am growing?

I have about 10 plants of Aloe in my back yard. I want to know if I have the correct Aloe plant, meaning the one you are selling and cultivating. My plants have white dots or spots. When I looked at your video how to slice the aloe, the plant you are using looks completely green. But when I go to the website to order, I see that the little bud you are selling looks like my plants. I am a little confused, please advise…

Thank you.

Answer: How to identify your Aloe plant:

Lucila's Aloe plant
Lucila’s Aloe plant
(species/variety unknown, but looks like “Japanese aloe”.)

The barbadensis-miller-stockton plants do have white spots when they are pups – but the spots go away as the plant matures. I have seen this role reversed in other varieties. The leaves of the barbadensis-miller-stockton plants are green, and not blue-green. Another distinguishing feature is that the flower has yellow petals, with no stripes nor dots on the petals.


Oh, that means my plants are not barbadensis-miller… They are 24 inches tall and they still have the white spots, and the flower is pink. What do you think is the name of them?


Aloe flower photo
Lucila’s Aloe flower

They might be barbadensis-miller… but there are several hundred varieties. They aren’t the Stockton variety, that’s what we know so far.

Even though Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years, scientists still understand little of its secrets — and pharmacologists have yet to figure out how to synthesize the plant (and patent it for the pharmaceutical companies to sell at an inflated price).

It is important to be careful with any wild plant. Some species of Aloe are toxic. Moreover, since each person can be sensitive to different things, any new food or herb should be tested cautiously for potential allergic reactions. The succulent plant website shows many pictures of Aloes. You may be able to find your variety there.

62 thoughts on “What Is the Best Aloe?

    My aloe is lightly spotted and has vertical dark green stripes and the tips of the spikes are yellowish.
    I can’t find what variety it is and is it safe for hair skin and most importantly can i drink it?

    Which type of aloe vera plant is beneficial for hairs sour or sweet aloe vera plant?

      Aloe vera is a type of aloe. There are different varieties of aloe vera but I have never heard of sweet or sour aloe vera.

    I have an aloe which i have been told is a var. chinensis. I have read that the gel from this plant is not safe for consumption, but is it suitable to apply to my face or hair?

      I have never heard that it is not safe for consumption… however, I have not tested it for safety. I suspect it is merely a slight variation of aloe vera.

    My aloe vera tastes little sour. Is it safe to consume for ulcers?

      It depends. Sour does not mean bad, though it might be acidic. Some brands add acids as preservatives. I personally would prefer an inner leaf only raw aloe vera gel. So it depends on the brand, what part of the leaf was used, how fresh it is, and what else is in it.

    My aloe vera is watery in the inside flesh thing and I see others are gel like. Does that mean mine won’t work for my hair and face unlike the gel one? What’s the difference

      Are you referring to yours from a plant… or from the store? Many in the store have thickeners added. When you use the real plant for your hair, take a piece of the aloe flesh and use it like a bar of soap… for your hair 🙂

    i have the aloe vera plant which having dots with green colour. is it suitable for drink?

    My question is the outter part of the leaf which is called the Rind is there any research on the male and female tubes on the outter part of the aloe vera leaf. If it helps the skin reproduce new skin cells when it is contact on the skin?

      I am unaware of any research on the rind for skin healing.

      I use it for cooking accidents! Great for burns. I tape or band-aid a piece of rind on the area. If you do it soon enough (immediately) after the burn occurs, the skin will not even blister.

        Yes, I do this too!

    Dr Haley
    I very much like to purchase Stockton Aloe1 juice however as I live in China, it seems not feasible. What if I ordered the juice in winter time like December may be the juice won’t go bad? I want to ask : have you come across any other brand (asia) which you think it is a match to Stockton Aloe1 – understand it if you don’t want to comment on this. Thanks.

      It just isn’t feasible to ship that far… costs too much with no guarantee of timely delivery. For that reason, we don’t do it. I am unaware of any comparable brands… anywhere!

    i am a doctor too and want to know about the anti diabetic results of consuming alovera . are there any studies indicatind anti diabetic effects of alovera .

      If you go to “” and search “aloe vera blood sugar” as of today, there are 91 results. The first one seems to prove effective in rats: beyond that, I didn’t read any others. But I know many with blood sugar problems use aloe vera to improve their blood sugar levels.

    What are the exact ingredients in your gel? I can’t seem to find that information anywhere, and there has to be some kind of thickening agent. I’m worried about carrageenan and the potential cancer or inflammation risks associated with it. And for clarification, I’m aware of the difference between degraded and undegraded carrageenan and the lab testing trying to be lumped together. Does your product contain this? Why aren’t the ingredients listed?

      The ingredient in our drink is “Barbadensis-Miller-Stockton Specie Aloe Vera Gel”. No, we do not have carrageenan or any thickening agent… or anything else in it.

        I have plenty of barbadensis on my farm .. unfortunately my Kenyan society don’t know the benefits.. I use it for my medications and also feed my animals.. Believe me.. no other plants are more useful than the Aloe Vera. I have proven this..

    What is your opinion of George’s Aloe Vera Juice?

    They use only Aloe Barbadensis Miller type.
    The process they use is fractional distilling which removes the anthraquinones, aloins, and the starches and sugars from the polysaccharide molecular chain so it does not need refrigeration.
    It tastes like water, and I’m wondering how it could be effective.

    Thank you

      Actually, according to their website, they remove the polysaccharides too. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be effective… I guess it just depends what is might be effective for. They answer the question: “How long should I be drinking George’s Aloe Vera before seeing any results?” but they don’t tell you what the results are for… But enough of anything in the bottle that is different than H2O will do something… and the water component will also provide a benefit.

    I’m curious how much aloin it would take for it to kill someone in the plant? Lol because I heard its dangerous and was wondering which amount is safe?

      The FDA has published there amounts regarding how much is considered safe. But what I wonder is “Why do you want to know?”. In other words, it is not from the part of the plant that you would want to consume, so why not just not eat it?

    So if I want to buy a product for topical application, to heal burns, what is the name of your commercial product?

    And again, for the purest ingestion?

    Thank you,


      My favorite is the Youth Derm Aloe Cream… the plain formula in the 4 oz. tube.

    Is this aloe considered sweet aloe? I have one that is called Sinkatana, sweet aloe, and it is not bitter. It tastes great, but very hard to find. Are you familiar with it?

      That is a different species of Aloe. Barbadensis Miller is NOT a sweet Aloe and does have bitterness in the outer leaf parts of the plant. The gel by itself is rather tasteless.

    could you plz tell me which kind of aloe is better for cultivation and medicinal usage, barbadensis miller or Aloe Arborescens?

      Every plant has it’s unique phytonutrient profile and benefits. However, most aloe companies sell Barbadensis Miller for a reason… believing it is the superior species.

    Nice site. I use aloe in the whole mixed with coconut oil. I eat it, use it on my face and hair. my question is I read where some species range in the properties in the latex layer are from 6.6% to .1 % in some 65 species and lower in some 35 more. I believe I am eating aloe barbadenis. I take 2 to 3 tablespoons a day by mouth and have no adverse effects. how can I know the latex content in this aloe. Thanks

      This is something that laboratories measure in parts per million… in the finished product. Our product is inner leaf only… which really means “hardly any green parts that contain aloin get in the finished product”. We are between 1 and 5 ppm.

    I read that you said some varieties of aloe are toxic; my question is: is the Barbadensis miller-Stockton variety toxic to cats and or dogs?

      It is not toxic to cats or dogs.

    Is there a specific way to identified which aloe am I growing?

      There are many species and many varieties of species. You can find websites with pictures of various species, and look for a close match to get a good idea of what you might have… but being sure is a whole different story.

    The question I have is whether it is safe to eat the whole leaf. I am making a preparation at home, so no discoloration process.

      My understanding is eating the whole leaf is not advisable because research have found that aloe does cause irritation and tumor to the intestine of rat. That is why you use them to flush your system out if you have difficult bowl movement. I have had my mother eat them with small amount of the aleo skin + aloe meat mix with honey and rice wine just put every thing in the mixer, just a table spoon before meal. After a few month she is clear on her early stage of cancer. The matured aloe vera I bought were from Texas.

    So, a few things…
    1) Can you explain why the Stockton variety is better than any of the other barbadensis-miller varieties? Does it have some sort of nutrient the others don’t have?
    2) I am on the waiting list for pups, but in the mean time, can you recommend a second best variety?
    3) Can you mix the drink with other juices or teas without losing the nutritional value? (I realize that is a broad question, so no need to get technical, just an assumption based on your knowledge will do, lol.)
    Looking forward to trying the drink!

      Rodney Stockton studied many varieties and found this variety to contain more overall nutrition. He also found that waiting at least 3 years… and optimally 5 years to harvest the leaves also increased the nutritional values. If you can not find a Stockton variety, just make sure you are getting Barbadensis Miller, aka “Aloe vera”.

      Regarding mixing with other juices… Aloe vera has been shown to increase the absorption of nutrients from other nutrients consumed with aloe… so mix it with those things that you really want to absorb. Consuming too much volume at once may hinder the absorption of everything consumed in that sitting… and push things through your body faster. But Aloe vera seems to provide benefits whether consumed with or without other foods.

    If i post a picture, can you tell which type of Aloe Vera am i planting?

      Sometimes… but because there are so many… it can be difficult to know for sure.

    what’s v-card, can’t download it thanks

      When you send it to your phone, it allows you to import all of our contact info.

    I have an Aloe plant and I’d like to find if this is adequate for consumption and skin treatment. Would somebody help me whith this matter and where may I send pictures of my plant.

    Thank you in advance



    Hello Dr. Haley,
    I live in Fairfield CA and I would like to know where I can buy a barbadensis miller stockton plant. I have been trying to find one for quite some time now. Thank you.


      We do ship the pups during the warmer weather… but not when they will ship through freezing temperatures. That is why we have a waiting list under the “out of inventory” message.

      You can these aloe vera at Trader Joes

    Can i get aloe pups? And for how much? Including the shipping fee? To the philippines

      We have a waiting list… and we do not ship internationally.

        Why don’t you ship internationally? I was really interested in acquiring a small plant of Aloe Vera this variety. For myself.

          We do ship internationally. It is super expensive though… and because every country is different, we let the purchasing party take care of the shipping details. more information is here:

    Where can I get this plant in Australia?

    You mention that the plant need to be more than 5 years old to get the max result.
    can I ask you if you carry age more than 5 years plant in addition to the pulp, if yes, what is the price range.
    I live in the state of California.

      We do not sell the mature plants – only pups. Also, we only have a limited supply of pups.

    I first heard about you from Growing your Greens video with John Kohler and am very interested in your aloe gel. Because I am allergic to citric acid that most companies put in their gel to preserve it, it is great to see that you are making a completely pure product! I am curious about your claims that it is the best aloe. There is a huge movement that follows Frei Romano Zago and he recommends Aloe Arborescens as the best aloe. He claims it is 200% more effective than any other other aloe. I’m sure you have heard of these claims and I am curious what the statistics are to refute them and to substantiate Mr. Stockton claim that his Aloe barbadensis miller-stockton.e is the best.

    Thanks for any thoughts you might have,

      Most aloe companies sell Barbadensis Miller for a reason… because it is the most medicinal species. But there is a brand that uses aloe arborescens… and they are the only ones I hear saying it is better. What likely happened is they did a lab test and found a certain nutrient that was higher in that partcular species… but didn’t look at the overall phytonutrient profile. Today, I emailed a site to find out more. I wrote:

      There is a statement on your website at that says:

      ” Is 200% higher in phytonutrient compounds than Aloe Vera.* ”
      Could you provide me with the details regarding the claim… that is, which nutrients are higher in the Father Zago’s Aloe arborescens over aloe vera? Are there laboratory documents that support the claim… and if so, how can I see them?

      Thank you for your attention to this.

      I’m looking forward to their response.

      Regarding the Stockton variety of Barbadensis Miller, it is based on Rodney Stockton’s evaluation of the various Barbadensis Miller varieties. The variety he chose to grow and harvest based on his findings became known as the “Barbadensis Miller – Stockton”. He additionally noted how to grow and when to harvest based on his laboratory analysis… it is more than just choosing the best variety.

        I was curious if you ever receive a response about this claim.

          No, Marb, I have not. That is one of the problems with claims. Not all can be backed up.

        Barbadensis Miller can be eaten though, arborescens has more yellow toxin, you can drink it but you have to soak the clear pulp to leech out the toxin.

        Barbadensis Miller they just rip it out and thats all ready for sale…

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